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Prayag United unveil Eelco Schattorie as their new coach

From the left – Subrata Pal , Ranti Martins, Coach Eelco Schattorie and Carlos Hernandez

Prayag United officially announced the appointment of Dutchman Eelco Schattorie as their new head coach in a press conference on Friday. Schattorie has been given a contract till the end of this season and will straight away take charge of the team from their I-League encounter against United Sikkim on Saturday.

Schattorie’s appointment comes after the resignation of Sanjoy Sen on Wednesday and it now means half of the I-League clubs have foreign coaches while all four Kolkata clubs are coached by foreigners.

The 40-year-old has an impressive CV with spells at Al Ettifaq (Saudi Arabia), Al Riffa Club (Bahrain), Muscat Club (Oman) and Red Bull Salzburg (Ghana). He aims to win the I-League with high-spenders Prayag but stated that success won’t come overnight.

“I have been told that Prayag have some of the best players in India and of course my aim will be to win the championship. But we have to be patient and remember sometimes even with the best players you cannot win the league. Like for example, even Jose Mourinho failed to win the league in his first season at Real Madrid. I see this as a big challenge and hopefully can help Prayag bring the title,” he told reporters.

It’s fair to say that Indian football has gone Dutch now as the technical director, Rob Baan, is from the Netherlands and so is national head coach Wim Koevermans.

Schattorie revealed that he did take advice from Baan and Koevermans and got an idea of what to expect during his time in India.

“If you know Dutch people they are famous for being adventurous. If you look at our history, we went all over the world. Rob Bann and Wim Koevermans explained me exactly the situation here in India. I always believe that anywhere you go in the world, everywhere there is talent. That’s what keeps me going anywhere I haven’t been before and so despite having other offers I chose Prayag,” he stated.

Schattorie added that he won’t make too many changes to the tactics and personnel of a team that has seven points from their opening four I-League games.

“Any coach who takes charge of a new team cannot succeed with too many changes. I will try to get as much as information possible from the assistant coaches and not change too much. It will take me some time to know the players and slowly I will give my inputs as well,” he said.

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